Monday, August 2, 2010

in a tube, down in the river!

I've been hearing all these great stories about tubing over in Harper's Ferry, W.Va., lately so I figured it might be the perfect way to finally scratch "Float Down a Lazy River in an Inflatable Torus with a Raft Full of Bud Light Lime Mini-Beers" off my bucket list. Unfortunately, none of that actually got accomplished.

Yet, I did go tubing. The problem was that the river wasn't lazy -- it was dead. And honestly, because of that, I've never been so tired in my life.

The trip, which was supposed to take about three hours, turned into six because instead of floating, we were forced to swim. Note to anyone planning to make the trip: The river level last Saturday was 2.5 feet. If I ever want to gamble with an otherwise perfectly relaxing Saturday again, I'd make sure the river was at least three feet higher before I'd consider tubing again.

And as far as the mini-beers go, well, outside of St. Mary's, Md., where I spent last weekend hanging out on a dock surrounded by 7 oz. Bud Light Limes and mobile Internet, it's hard to find a baby brew, let alone a delicious and refreshing mini bottle of Bud Light Lime.

But I digress. Not having artificial citrus flavoring in a little libation was really the least of my worries. I was more concerned about the fact that I paid $32 to work this hard. I woke up on Sunday with my shoulders throbbing. (I mean, you see my upper body strength, right? It's sad.) The tops of my legs were blazing red. (You also see how pasty I am. That's as equally sad as my upper body strength.) And my hair was basically one big rat's nest. (Really, who decided to post this picture on the Web, anyway?)

And some of the low-lights that didn't involve my scrawny, pale physical structure included: Getting stuck in a buggy marsh; getting stuck on several rocks and/or logs; hitting my feet on several rocks and/or logs; swimming for miles while dragging my tube; and dodging several hundred other assholes on the river.

Really, I felt like I was in Honey, I Shrunk the Kids, floating around in a bowel (that's a typo, but I'm going to leave it) of Froot Loops tainted with 2-methylnaphthalene. In short, it was not the best of times.

Luckily, however, I was able to later reclaim my day by heading to Charles Town Races and Slots and Table Games, where I learned that, while it still largely sucks because of its ridiculously high table minimums for craps (seriously, $50?), they have at least installed some $25 blackjack tables.

And, get this, I won! I put down $100 and left with twice that. Of course, even that was a hassle considering the dealer COULDN'T COUNT. I saw him give a pay-out to a man who showed a 15 to his 17 then later the dealer tried not to pay someone with 21 to his 19. Shortly after that, he then paused for several seconds to calculate the sum of seven, eight and nine. Yes, you f*cking moron, that is a bust.

Needless to say, the only tip he got from me was the sentence, "You should really go back to school." Unfortunately, I bet you $100 he will not take my advice.


FoggyDew said...

Strange, I'd think basic math skills would be a requirement for blackjack dealer. Not like poker where you just have to know which numbers are bigger than others.

Did the tubing thing with some friends many, many years ago on the Green River in N.C. While we didn't have mini-beers, we did have many beers. That is, until, the tube carrying our styrofoam cooler floated over a jagged rock. The river god was harsh and demanded a malted and cold-filtered sacrifice. Thanksfully, our journey was almost complete and our suffering wasn't extended.

Finally, that's not that bad a picture.

ALEX said...

Tubing can be a lot of fun. Tubing without a river though -- not so much fun!

Marissa said...


I guess Do the Math doesn't have quite the ring to it as Do the Dew in West Virginia...


Who knew the river was so key??? :)